Before Daniel Craig came along, who could have imagined a short, blond James Bond? Now, 12 years into his reign as the face of 007, it’s hard to think of anyone more suited to the role than this hard-working, intensely private, and distinguished gentleman. As the world gears up for his final turn as our favorite secret agent, check out these 42 facts about the talented Daniel Craig.
Daniel Craig Facts
42. Proving Them Wrong
Although many were skeptical when the blond Craig was first cast as James Bond, Casino Royale became the highest-grossing Bond film of its day. Craig even earned a BAFTA nomination for his performance.
41. All Natural
Much of the controversy surrounding Craig’s casting as James Bond had to do with his hair—there had never been a blond Bond. Nevertheless, Craig refused to dye his hair black for the role. Imagine his regret if the producers wouldn’t have gone for it?
40. Off to a Good Start
Seems like Craig never had trouble making big, bold choices. At age 16, he left school to join England’s National Youth Theatre. He made his debut as Agamemnon in Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida, and toured with the troupe to Spain and Russia.
39. License to Help
Craig is involved in many charitable causes. He’s worked with organizations such as S.A.F.E. Kenya, which addresses social issues through street theater, New York’s Opportunity Network, which helps low-income students access education, and the UN, which made Craig a global advocate for the elimination of mines and explosive hazards.
38. Appealing to Authority
In the middle of the controversy surrounding Craig’s signing to play 007, he received support from some of the biggest authorities on this issue. Four of the five previous Bonds—Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, and Pierce Brosnan—spoke out in favor of his casting. More recently, George Lazenby has also praised Craig’s performance.
37. Making His Own Way
Craig’s favorite James Bond is Sean Connery, and his favorite Bond film is From Russia With Love. Despite this admiration, Craig didn’t make his performance an imitation of Connery’s. He explained that this would be “a pointless exercise for [him].”
36. Distinguished Lineage
Craig is descended from French Huguenots, including the minister Daniel Chamier. Craig also counts Sir William Burnaby, 1st Baronet, among his ancestors. That’s an impressive family tree!
35. Fond Memories
The first James Bond film Craig ever saw in the theater was Roger Moore’s Live and Let Die from 1973. Craig saw it with his father, and the movie has held a special place in his heart ever since.
34. Success Story
Craig’s third Bond film, 2012’s Skyfall, is the highest-grossing film in the storied franchise and was the highest-grossing movie in UK history until 2015.
Craig played rugby union for Hoylake RFC in his younger days, and he remains a big fan of the sport. He even traveled all the way to Australia in 2013 to see the British & Irish Lions rugby tour.
32. Breaking Faith
Despite Craig’s Huguenot background, it doesn’t appear that his ancestors passed their religious fervor down to him—Craig has said, “I’ve never been religious and I’m not a church-goer.”
31. Solid Advice
Before signing on as James Bond, Craig wasn’t sure he wanted to play the role. Pierce Brosnan, the previous 007, had to convince Craig to accept the part.
30. Keeping the Peace
In real life, Craig would make a pretty poor 007. He hates violence, having witnessed too many drunken brawls when he used to work in bars, and he’s also terrified of guns. James Bond, on the other hand, kills an average of 16 people per film.
29. Young Padawans
Craig studied at Guildhall School of Music and Drama starting in 1988, and one of his classmates was Obi-Wan Kenobi himself, Ewan McGregor. It’s the Star Wars-James Bond crossover we’ve always wanted!
28. Junior Bond
Craig was born on March 2, 1968. This makes him the first James Bond to be born after the film franchise began 1962.
27. Nasty Habit
In the very first Bond film, Dr. No, the first thing we see 007 do is smoke a cigarette. Despite this fact, Craig gave up smoking as soon as he got the role of Bond in Casino Royale. Times have changed!
26. Tall Order
Not only is Craig famously the first blond actor to play James Bond, he’s also the shortest—he’s only 5’10”! Maybe if I wear platform shoes, I’ll have a chance…
25. Expert Opinions
Nothing grabs attention like being cast as James Bond. In 2006, Craig won the title of “Best Dressed Male” from Esquire magazine, and finished number seven in Elle magazine’s “15 Sexiest Men” poll. Perhaps best of all, a 2006 poll conducted by Durex condoms named Craig the “Sexiest Man Alive.”
24. Early Start
Craig has been plying his trade for a long time now—his first acting role was in a school production of Oliver! at the age of six. When I was six, I couldn’t even tie my shoes.
23. Living the Dream
Craig is now married to actress Rachel Weisz. The two met and worked together on the film Dream House, and dated for only six months before getting married in 2011.
22. All in the Family
Craig has one daughter, Ella Craig, born in 1992. He is also the stepfather to Weisz’s son Henry, whose father is Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky.
21. An Intimate Affair
When Craig and Weisz got married, there were only four people in attendance at the ceremony, including Craig’s 18-year-old daughter and Weisz’s five-year-old son.
20. Pixelated Fun
Before being cast as James Bond, Craig gained attention when he appeared in 2001’s Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. He was the only member of the cast who was an actual fan of the original video games. I’m sure he liked it for the story, and not the main character’s famous figure…
19. Uncanny Resemblance
Craig doesn’t love attention. One time, when he was visiting an American movie theater incognito, a fan asked if anyone had ever told him he looked like Daniel Craig. Craig answered “no” and walked away.
18. Nerd Alert
Craig is kind of a geek: He loves sci-fi franchises like Firefly, Star Trek, and Doctor Who. I love those shows too, but somehow I’m still not James Bond…
17. Easily Convinced
Craig accomplished every geek’s dream when he made a cameo appearance in 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He plays the Stormtrooper who succumbs to Rey’s Jedi mind trick.
16. For England, James
Out of the six actors who have played James Bond, Craig is only the second Englishman—Roger Moore is the other one.
15. In Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Craig has starred alongside countless celebrities, but he probably could never have guessed who he would work with in 2012. For the Opening Ceremony at the London Olympics that year, Craig made a guest appearance with Queen Elizabeth II herself.
14. Just Like the Rest of Us
When he was cast as Mikael Blomqvist in 2011’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Craig needed to be believable as an everyman journalist. He had to gain weight in order to shake off his image as the sexy, chiseled James Bond.
13. Stick with What You Know
For the English-language adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, most of the cast attempted to speak with Swedish accents, and star Rooney Mara was criticized for sounding Russian or Dutch, rather than Swedish. Craig thought this was silly, and just used his normal voice in the film.
12. Stop Copying Me!
Craig played Lord Asriel in the 2007 film The Golden Compass. He’s not the only James Bond actor to take that part: Timothy Dalton has also appeared as Asriel, in a London stage adaptation.
11. Baby Bump
50-year-old Craig and his 48-year-old wife Rachel Weisz announced in April 2018 that they are expecting their first child together. Weisz has said, “Daniel and I are so happy…We’re going to have a little human.” Was she expecting an alien?
10. Unexpected Delays
Craig is signed to appear as James Bond in 2019 for the last time, in a project with the working title Bond 25. With Craig and Weisz expecting a child, however, the film’s schedule has reportedly been pushed back.
9. Sticking to Their Guns
The director of Dream House, Jim Sheridan, was frequently at odds with the production company, Morgan Creek, which resulted in the company creating a trailer that Sheridan disapproved of. In protest, Craig and Weisz refused to promote the film to the press.
8. Quite the Little Black Book
Though he’s been married to Weisz for seven years now, Craig had his fair share of romances before settling down. He was married to actress Fiona Loudon from 1992 to 1994, has been engaged to producer Satsuki Mitchell, and linked to actress Sienna Miller and model Kate Moss.
7. The Power of Bond
Craig’s first screen role came in 1992, as an Afrikaner in the American drama The Power of One. The film received mixed reviews, but it certainly didn’t damage Craig’s career!
6. Lucky Break
Craig’s breakthrough role came in the 1996 BBC serial drama Our Friends in the North, and he had to speak with a Geordie (Newcastle) accent for the part. Craig apparently bombed his accent in the audition, but he won the role regardless.
5. Strong Friendship
Craig became friends with actor Mark Strong while filming Our Friends in the North, and they remain close to this day. Craig is even godfather to Strong’s sons. That is a bromance I can get behind.
4. I’ll Take That as a ‘Maybe’
When asked in 2015 how he felt about doing another Bond film, Craig answered, “I’d rather break this glass and slash my wrists.” Don’t sugarcoat it, Daniel!
Regarding his reluctance to revisit the role of 007 after filming 2015’s Spectre, Craig said, “If I did another Bond movie, it would only be for the money.” Someone must have paid up, because Craig is now tapped to play Bond until 2019.
2. Cultural Shift
Since well before the #MeToo movement, Craig has been working to change James Bond’s reputation as a thoughtless womanizer. He has admitted that Bond is clearly a misogynist, and has tried to alter that characterization: “I’ve been trying to do that gently for the past four movies and I’ll continue to do that.”
1. Broad Appeal
One sign of 007’s evolving attitude toward women appeared in the character’s relationship with Lucia, played by then-50-year-old Monica Bellucci, in Spectre. When asked about the charms of an “older woman,” Craig replied, “I think you mean the charms of a woman his own age,” before going on to praise Bellucci’s beauty.